Keeping up with the Hassans

What do you know about Dubai? Do you know where it is, or what’s going on there, or that it’s become the center of the big ticket item world by building such dreamlike constructions as the Burj Al Arab Hotel (every room includes a butler) and Ski Dubai, a 25-story indoor winter festival complete with black diamond ski runs and real snow falling from the ceiling?

Dubai is an oil-rich, real estate-rich, super-rich-rich finger of land in the middle east where they’re not just embracing the American Way of Excess, they’re ladeling gravy on top of it and shovelling it by the truckload all over the desert. This is Las Vegas on steroids. This is the New York skyline without the urine stench.

And opening in 2007 is the world’s newest tallest building, the Burj Dubai, at 160 stories big. If you think the middle east is just bombs, burkas and big beards… think again.

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